Seriously thinking about going tiny? QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING A TINY HOUSE BUILD

If you’d like to build your dream tiny house on a trailer, there’s quite a few things to consider!

 

 

 

TRAILER SIZE

How long do you want the trailer to be? Remember, most trailers have a hitch that adds 4ft on to the total length of the trailer. Sizes: 16ft, 18ft, 20ft, 24ft, 28ft

Also, if the trailer beams are too broad they can frost in cold climate, making your floors chilly, and affecting the “dew point”.

 

WIDTH

How wide do you want the house to be? Tiny houses on trailers can be up to 8’6” before you need a wide load permit. A wide load permit isn’t too expensive and is obtained from the DMV.

If you don’t plan on traveling with your TH much, consider that it can be up to 10ft or even 12ft wide.

For More On Trailers Visit Our Trailer Page 

Other things to consider about the width:

Are you going to build over the wheel wells on the trailer or build between them?

Are those pesky wheel wells in the way of your dream floorplan? You may want to choose a trailer with a deck that’s built over the wheel wells (adds 1ft to the height of the trailer deck). This will affect your loft space if you don’t plan to build taller than 13’6”.

How thick do you want the walls of the house?

How far do you want the roof eaves to hang over?

How thick do you want to build your walls?

What kind of interior wall material do you want to use?

What kind of insulation?

Which side do you need the vapor lock on for the type of climate you’ll be living in?

 

 

 

WEIGHT

Most tiny homes don’t weigh more than 10,000lbs. Make sure your trailer can hold the amount of house you need. Have your materials list 100% prepared before you start building. This includes all appliances, windows, and furniture. Also have a master plan about what personal belongings you’re keeping, so when you design you know where you’re going to keep your limited stuff. Here’s a downsizing resource http://tinyhousetalk.com/tiny-transition-and-downsizing-ecourse/

 

MOVING THE TINY HOUSE

Are you going to buy a ¾ or 1 ton pickup truck to move the tiny house, rent one, or pay someone to move it for you? Video on choosing a truck to tow your TH https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kadoGfbiJd4

 

 

HEIGHT

How tall do you want your tiny house? Most TH are 13’6” tall and this includes the height of the trailer, which is usually two feet. A trailer that has the deck built over the wheel wells of the trailer is a flat deck, these are 3ft high. If you’re planning on traveling cross-country, overpass clearance height varies from state to state with some as low as 12’7

 

RV CERTIFIED?

Working with a TH builder or even building the TH yourself to RVIA standards will be an extra hurdle of time and money. Is it worth it to you?  RVIA certified may mean you can only park it in rv parks and can be limited in other areas that do not allow RVs

 

INSURANCE

How are you going to insure your tiny home if it’s not registered as an RV?

Alot of insurance companies will insure tiny house you just have to do your research. State Farm for instance will insure a custom tiny house for a stated value

 

FINANCING & BUDGET

How much can you pay each month for a parking spot? You may have TH payments too, so ask yourself, will this be cheaper than what you’re paying now for rent? Is it worth it?

Home Depot gives loans for materials http://www.homedepot.com/c/CC_Home_Depot_Project_Loan

TH Lenders – tinyhouselending.com  – tinyhouseloans.com  lendingclub.com

 

WASTE

How are you going to dispose of kitchen and bathroom trash, compost, recycling?

How are you going to manage your human waste? Compost toilet? Incinerator toilet? Septic tank?

http://clotheslinetinyhomes.com/2012/10/03/everyone-poops-tiny-house-toilet-options/

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/may/12/humanure-composting-toilets

 

WATER

How are you going to get water? Your neighbor from a hose? A well? Catchment? Haul it in? How large does your tank need to be to last a week?

How big does your gray water tank need to be? Are you planning to  design the house to re-use water?

http://tiny-project.com/what-to-do-with-greywater-from-your-tiny-house/

 

 

 

 

APPLIANCES/UTILITIES

Are you going to have solar? Mounted to the house? Propped up on the ground?

Would you like to be able to plug into another power source and also have solar?

How many batteries will you need to power your lights, laptop, fridge, washer/dryer, etc?

Wind power? http://tinyhouseblog.com/stick-built/first-wind-powered-tiny-house/

How much electricity are you using currently? http://www.energysavings.com/energy-consumption.html

Do you want a wood-burning stove/fireplace?

On-demand hot water heater?

Will some items run on propane such as the fridge or stove? Keep in mind that if using a propane stove you’ll need a hood vent.

Another option is a marine-grade Ethanol stove – (here’s an example http://www.dometic.com/667f2813-7089-4b0c-862d-b39d2e71cd66.fodoc) however read up more about this type of marine stove as the alcohol smell can be bothersome  http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com/2011/08/alcohol-as-stove-fuel.html

 

PARKING/LAND

How much is land rent or a land payment?

Are you willing to work/trade in exchange for rent?

What kind of lifestyle do you want?

Do you want to move to the country? Or try to find parking in a city?

How are you going to get your mail if you don’t have an actual address? (Are you able to get your mail at the main house? PO Box?)

How close do you want to be to a downtown?

How can you network to find a parking spot? What type of people do you want to rent from?

Do you want privacy from your landlords or do you want to be part of communal living?

What are the zoning laws in your county?

What are the zoning laws in the county you would like to buy land in to park your tiny home?Is camping legal?

 

DESIGNING YOUR TINY HOUSE

http://tinyhousetalk.com/design/

Sketch Up – Tutorial Series https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nir6Qk_sSrw

Floorplanner https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfcCi9cXTdk

Draw by hand https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYiVjVulnm4

Make a model https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lckq9ooRUc

Sweet home 3D http://sweet-home-3d.en.softonic.com/download

Stairs Calculater http://www.ez-stairs.com/widgets/stair_calculator/

 

CHALLENGES

http://tinyhousetalk.com/caution

http://www.tinyhousechat.com/episode-1-tiny-house-codes/

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